Howard Hughes buys building west of Seaport for $24M

10-story storage facility at 163 Front St. offers nearly 100K buildable sf

From left: 163 Front Street, David Weinreb (credit: Max Dworkin) and South Street Seaport rendering (credit: SHoP)
From left: 163 Front Street, David Weinreb (credit: Max Dworkin) and South Street Seaport rendering (credit: SHoP)

The Howard Hughes Corp. acquired a 10-story commercial building on the outskirts of the South Street Seaport for $24 million, according to property records filed with the city today.

Tom Molloy’s American International Realty has owned the 58,500-square-foot property at 163 Front Street, also known as 34-40 Fletcher Street, since 1996, records show. The structure, used primarily for storage, offers 98,280 buildable square feet. Across the street, Fortis Property Group is in the process of building a 51-story condo tower at 151 Maiden Lane, also known as 39 Fletcher Street.

Texas-based Howard Hughes, led by CEO David Weinreb, has been at odds with city officials and Seaport residents over plans to construct a 494-foot condominium tower as part of its proposed $1.5 billion redevelopment of the area.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“Our focus right now is on developing Pier 17 and pursuing our proposal for a mixed-use building with more than $300 million in public improvements,” a spokesperson for Howard Hughes said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the developer paid $30.8 million to buy more than 333,000 square feet of air rights from a consortium of banks that owns the air rights above the South Street Seaport Museum and a handful of properties on the block north of Front Street, as The Real Deal reported. Howard Hughes Corporation controls the South Street Seaport proper through a lease with the city, as well as other buildings in The District Bounded By John Street, Peck Slip, Water Street and the East River.

In October, Ralph Tawil’s Centurion Realty sold an eight-story rental building at 85 South Street to Howard Hughes for $20 million.